Jeff Clark over at CelticsBlog outlined the case yesterday for trading Ray Allen. Jeff’s theory–and he makes it clear he really likes Ray–is that Allen’s trade value will never be higher than it is now, when his contract represents nearly $20 million of expiring money right when teams want their contracts to expire. Jeff also outlines some acceptable Trade Machine Deals that are mostly fair.
I’m going to be addressing this topic in-depth in the coming days, but I wanted to get the ball rolling here by throwing out a challenge: If the Celtics decide to trade Ray Allen, who is playing the 2-guard position for this team?
The only way this deal works is if the Celtics, either directly through the deal or through free agency or even another trade, acquire someone who can shoot three-pointers. Who’s it going to be?
I’m not saying the Celtics need an All-World shooting guard to win the NBA title–not if they get a top-notch asset (a big man, a small forward, whatever) in this theoretical Allen deal. But I am saying they need someone besides Paul Pierce who can be on the court for 30 minutes a game and shoot three-pointers. And it would be helpful if that someone can–like Walter Ray–occasionally create his own shot in the mid-range game when teams overplay the three-point shot.
You can’t win in the NBA right now with only one capable three-point shooter on the floor. Not with Rajon Rondo drawing defenses, and not with a team that has finished 5th and 1st in three-point shooting accuracy in the last two seasons.
There are two main ways to get a perimeter shooter:
1) In the Allen trade, in which case it will be an older, overvalued shooter with a contract that runs beyond 2011. (Peja Stojakovic’s corpse, for instance);
2) A mid-level-exception-type player (or cheaper) the Celtics can sign during the off-season (provided the Theoretical Ray Allen Trade happens in the off-season, and, honestly, I can’t see a scenario where it goes down mid-season).
So: Prove it to me that a Ray Allen deal is workable. Because I’m not doing it unless we somehow add a dependable three-point shooter.